Name: Melanie Horstman
Occupation: International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), Child Passenger Safety Technician Instructor (CPST-I), owner of Nurture Omaha LLC
Position on Leadership team: Vice Chair
How long have you been with the Leadership team? Since January 2022
How did you get interested in breastfeeding? I never knew I was going to plan to breastfeed. When I was pregnant with my first child, I was meant to see a high-risk OB, but they were all busy the day of my appointment so they had me see the midwives at UNMC. I loved the midwives so much I asked to stay on with them, since my only reason for being high-risk was my PCOS diagnosis. During my appointments with the midwives I was asked if I planned to breastfeed, that was the first time I had ever thought about it. I said yes early on, then learned more about it during pregnancy and got really passionate about wanting to exclusively breastfeed. After my son was born we had many struggles and mis-diagnoses from multiple pediatricians on my son's colicky behavior. It wasn't until we saw an IBCLC that everything changed. I went in for my 6 week checkup - having no idea that an IBCLC was a thing, or that they could help me - and the midwives recommended seeing an IBCLC they had in the clinic. If it weren't for them - I wouldn't be where I am now. I went through 6 weeks (and really it continued beyond that) of struggling alone. Many tears were shed by my baby and me. My lactation consultant saved my life. That was the first time I realized how powerful this profession is.
What are your goals for the breastfeeding coalition? My goal and reason for joining the coalition was to spark back my passion of why I went into this career field in the first place. After years of running a private practice lactation consulting business, I saw myself getting too much into the business aspect and not being as heavily involved in the community, collaboration, and advocacy of this work that originally made me so passionate. My other main goal is to be an advocate and ally for the LGBTQIA2S+ community. Anyone can feed their child human milk and that's the goal here - get as many babies fed human milk as possible!
Do you have kids and if so, how many? I have two kids, a 10 year old boy and a 7 year old girl.
Did you breastfeed your children? Yes, my first nursed until he was 3 (when I was pregnant with his sister he self weaned). And my daughter nursed until 3.5, also self weaned.
3 fun facts about you? I used to competitively twirl baton and dance, I'm a big Harry Potter fan, and my old profession and past-time was cake decorating!
Favorite color: Earthy green tones!
Favorite food: Sushi (authentic stuff - the more raw the better)! Fun fact, my cousin used to own a Sushi restaurant in town (anyone remember Sushi Japan Yakiniku Boy?)
Favorite quote: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that." - MLK Jr.
Any other special information about you? As a CPST (aka - car seat tech), I spend a lot of my time volunteering at free community car seat check events, and providing car seat education to families and childcare facilities that transport children. I also have developed a breast pump and car seat recycling program - special thanks to Children's Nebraska for partnering with me to provide this resource for FREE to our community!